Cost overrun prompts new look at compost plan

December 03, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

The New Windsor Town Council will re-evaluate its plans to build a compost facility in town after discovering that the project will cost more than originally thought.

Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr. said the $11,500 matching grant approved for the town in February by the state Board of Public Works would not be enough to provide the town with the kind of facility it wants.

"A preliminary study shows that the [$23,000, the combined state grant and town contributions] will not be enough to construct it and maintain it," Mayor Gullo told the council Wednesday night during its monthly meeting.

Town officials applied for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources grant in August 1992 to build a compost facility for yard waste, which no longer will be accepted in landfills.

The town purchased land on Geer Lane -- where the recycling bins sit -- to house the 1,000-square-foot structure with a compacted, crushed gravel floor, a small parking lot and driveway of the same materials, and a 6-foot-high fence around it.

Although the grant money was in place, town officials never hired an engineering firm to design the facility and had no idea how much it would cost.

Mr. Gullo said he sought the advice of an engineering firm when he discovered the matter was unresolved.

The engineers studied the proposal and told the mayor that the earmarked money would not be enough.

The entire project would cost about $40,000, the mayor said.

He suggested that council members discuss the matter in detail during their next work session.

Mr. Gullo said he wants to determine how to proceed because he is concerned that the town might duplicate the efforts of the county government, which has been making provisions for yard waste.

"The county [government] may be solving this problem for the whole county, and the municipalities could just jump on board," Mr. Gullo said.

"I can't imagine that our haulers are not going to provide a service for it," he added.

"It's like the recyclables. They can't go in the landfill either, and the haulers provide a service for that."

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